Things We’ll Never See
When you give money to this congregation, that money is used to change the world in a variety of ways. The impact of your gifts goes far beyond these walls. We know that our religious education program enriches the children beyond measure. We know that the music ministry of this church heals hearts and opens spirits. We know that community members are showing up month after month to fulfill the mission of this church through the work of the Green Sanctuary Committee, through our explorations of various faith traditions, through our donations to the Community Crisis Center, through our members volunteering at local food pantries, or serving meals for the homeless and in so many more ways.
And there are so many things we’ll never see, the teenager who decides not to commit suicide because they had access to our Our Whole Lives program, affirming them as they questioned their sexuality. We’ll not know for years about the young children currently attending our church who will be called to enter the UU ministry, affecting thousands of other lives in the future. And there are many of us who have changed the very course of our lives because of something we have learned here, or felt here, or touched here, If you feel that your life has been enriched because you are a part of this congregation, raise your hand.
How can we ascribe monetary value to the place of the church in our lives? Quite frankly, I’m not sure that we should. That way of thinking connects us solidly with the consumer culture in which we live. A church is not a buffet that we approach in order to pick out what we’re most in the mood for. In fact, some of the things we most need are things we wouldn’t ordinarily seek out. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be challenged to grow. I think that is what church is for! Our mission states it clearly. We covenant to: nurture the spirit, grow in relationship, and serve with love and compassion.
This religious community exists to support the transformation of each one of us, and the transformation of society. We need a place where we can celebrate life, come together to mourn and marry and march and to learn spiritual practices which will help us to live our values every day of the week.
And we need a place which will challenge us to recognize our own privilege and invite us to be counted among those who are willing to change our lives for the sake of others. This will motivate us to see our interconnectedness with all of life, and will lead us to heal the environment, fight racism, classism, able-ism, and homophobia. Our participation here will lead us to become more and more generous and more moved to grow as a person. We are just getting started. There is so much more to do. Together we’ll get it done.